Cornell Law Professor Says A “Green Amendment” Won’t Bring Changes To Slow Climate Change

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FILE – In this June 1, 2017 file photo, wind turbines, which are part of the Lost Creek Wind Farm, stand against the sky at dusk near King City, Mo. A new study out of Harvard finds that ramping up wind power in America would also dial up the nation’s temperatures. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – A Pennsylvania environmentalist says people need the right to a clean environment written into state constitutions. Maya van Rossum, with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, is urging activists to push for a Green Amendment. She recently spoke at Cornell University and Ithaca College.

Joshua Macey, law professor at Cornell, thinks a Green Amendment could be an important symbol, but, it’s not practical.

“The real challenge with the Green Amendment is that it may not even mean anything,” said Macey. “But even if it does it could take decades for it to become meaningful.”

He said a more effective effort would be to focus on specific problems. For example, big renewable energy projects often get stalled because there’s no infrastructure to connect them to the grid.

“I don’t seen how you can get from a Green Amendment to the very, very technical responses to climate change that are necessary now,” Macey said.

For him, solving infrastructure issues would allow New York state to increase renewable energy use from 30 to 60 percent.